ICC to look at umpire review system as controversy rages

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 16, 2010 17:00 hrs

By Mitch Phillips

London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) will carry out an enquiry into the umpire referral system in the wake of a series of controversial incidents in the South Africa v England test series.

"We have received a letter of complaint from the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and we will launch a formal investigation into the exact circumstances surrounding the application of the decision review system (DRS) after completion of the Johannesburg test match," ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement on Saturday.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke told the BBC the implementation of the review system was "a shambles", adding: "We're better off with the old system. If the umpire is as blind as a bat, it's the same for both sides."

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Clarke complained to the ICC about the system following Friday's third umpire decision not to give South Africa captain Graeme Smith out caught behind early in his innings before he went on to make a century.

That was one of several decisions that have upset the tourists and cricket's world governing body said it would look at everything that has happened in the current series with a view to improving it.

"There is a large amount of controversy, speculation and potentially unfair criticism circulating at present -- so it is important to establish the exact facts before reaching any final conclusions," Lorgat added.

"This is early days for the DRS and so far we are pleased with its effectiveness and the value it can add to the game in support of umpires.

"However, we have always acknowledged there is room for further improvement in the available technology and this investigation will be conducted in that light, so the system becomes even more reliable."

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Earlier on Saturday England had called for the reinstatement of the referral they used against Smith, who appeared to edge a ball to the wicket-keeper but was not given out by the umpire -- a decision upheld after a referral.

England claimed that third umpire Daryl Harper had not had the volume turned up on his replay monitor, so missing what they claimed was an audible nick, but the ICC rejected the suggestion in an earlier statement.

"It is clarified that the volume on the third umpire's feed, right throughout the series, had been configured to optimise the quality of the audio, by both an SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) Head Engineer and the ICC technical advisor," the ICC said.

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